West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday expressed his displeasure over not being invited to the convocation ceremony of a state university, while several ministers have been called to attend the annual event.
Dhankhar, who is the Chancellor of all the state universities, said that he had “no information” about the third convocation of Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University in North Bengal scheduled to be held on Friday.
“Cooch Behar Panchanan Barma University convocation will be held on February 14. Ministers Partha Chatterjee, Goutam Deb, Rabindra Nath Ghosh and Binay Krishna Barman are invited for the convocation. Chancellor, who has right to preside, has just no information! Where are we heading!” the Governor tweeted.
Sources said that the invitation card for the convocation does not have the chancellor’s name. An official of the university on the condition of anonymity said, “We had intimated Raj Bhavan about the convocation but received no response from the Governor’s side. Hence we are going ahead with our programme.”
Last year, former Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had attended the second convocation programme of the university.
The state government had recently passed the West Bengal Universities and College (Administration and Regulation) Act, 2017 in which the vice-chancellors are required to talk to the higher education department for any important academic issue and not the chancellor.
On several occasions in the past, Governor Dhankhar had expressed his unhappiness about the state government’s treatment meted out to him.
Last December, Dhankhar was stopped from attending the annual convocation of Jadavpur University. “There is policy paralysis. Universities are in captivity and caged by the state government,” he had then said.
Following the incident, he had convened a meeting of all the state universities’ vice-chancellors on January 13. However, no state university vice-chancellor turned up for the meeting at Raj Bhavan.
Last month, the Governor had faced protests from a section of students when he had gone to attend the annual convocation of Calcutta University. The Governor had to leave the venue without attending the programme.
Dhankhar, recently, courted controversy by saying that he might add or omit portions of the written speech, prepared by the state government, for his address to the Assembly at the beginning of the budget session on February 7. However, he stuck to the speech approved by the state government.
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